Right, so that's it for another year then.
Yay! Christmas is all over until, maybe October? Of course, if I were in England still, it would be all over until next August, when with the last flickering of the summer heat still being (with any luck) still some weeks away, all the Christmas decorations and cards would appear in the shops and Christmas promotions would begin. And you'd always get those smug bastards that would gloat as they told you that by October ALL their shopping had been done and they already ordered the biggest tree in the world. Or whatever. Bah!
Christmas and I have, for many reasons, always had a very mixed relationship, and generally my favourite Christmases have been those I've been able to spend alone without feeling any pressure to conform or join in other people's family's day. This has been especially true when I've had a house to myself in what's normally a shared house. I'm not saying I've not enjoyed sharing them or anything, but pressure and all that.
Yesterday, however, was great fun. My neighbour and I were invited downstairs to another neighbours apartment (all teachers) for Xmas lunch. Well, by 'lunch' we were there from 4pm to about 2am-ish. Had a lovely lovely lunch. Neighbour downstairs has a microwave oven (the flats all come equipped with a toaster oven and a single ring) so we had a REAL roast meal. SOOOO nice. And, naturally, charades and Monopoly (Star Wars version - very hard to tell the pieces apart as they're all silver and stand up) and lots and lots of red wine. We had a blast! And even watched 'Jingle All The Way' at one stage. What a TERRIBLE movie! But we enjoyed the spirit of things (or maybe that was also the red wine?).
Christmas Day is a normal working day in Japan, and some poor little guy driving his van around our apartments looked a little bit shocked at us all out on the balcony, with wine, and wearing silly hats, and shouting 'merry xmas' to him. In English. Poor love!!!
I then had my first asthma attack in about 11 years. Actually, I remember the last one I had - it was when I was playing on a huge pile of raw cotton on a Kibbutz. That was my first. I had one a couple of days later when in the Kibbutz garden with a huge huge amount of pollen visibly flying around. I've never had another one. Ever. Sure, from time to time, like if I've had flu or something, I've had to use the inhaler for wheezing but I'm diagnosed with 'mild asthma', always carry an inhaler 'in case' and generally never have any problems. Hell, if it weren't for asthma I wouldn't have been able to get so much money together for Japan: I took part in some paid asthma trials earlier this year.
Anyway, I have no idea what triggered this one off. There was a lot of smoking, but it was in a different room, and even with it drifting through, I'd be really suprised if that had caused it. Nothing else I'm diagnosed as allergic to was present (cats and tree pollen), and food has never caused it before. So, I'm baffled.
I overdid the Ventolin a bit as it just wouldn't calm down, and woke up several times through the night. With breathing exercises, an antihistamine and more puffs I managed to calm it down eventually, but had a pretty crap sleep. And this morning, my chest hurts :(
Another thing I love about Japan: today is Sunday. Boxing Day Sunday. And at midday the postman came knocking with a package for me - containing a Xmas Pudding, Jelly, Custard, shortbread biscuits, a packet of Colman's Chip Shop Curry mix (!) and a little microphone key ring that had a message recorded on it. Apparantly. Oops. I played with it and rubbed off whatever was on it before seeing a note saying it had a message for me. Sorry! Supercool pressie anyway :D
UPDATE: I've eaten the Xmas pudding (it was a little one: perfect size!) and half the packet of custard. YUMMY!!!
Now, if my neighbour who has gone back to the UK for the holidays, remembers my mince pies, I'll be one very happy chick!